Residents downstream of the massive oil pipeline leak near Little Buffalo, Alberta have no reason to be concerned about oil moving downstream, say both Alberta Environment and the Alberta Energy Resource Conservation Board (ERCB).
Over 28,000 barrels of oil leaked from a pipeline roughly 100 km from Peace River over the course of four days last week.
While members of the community of Little Buffalo say they have been lightheaded and nauseous from an odour in town, located 12 km from the spill site, people downstream appear to have little to fear from the spill spreading.
ERCB spokesperson Davis Sheremata told The Journal on May 5 that the oil has been contained, mostly in the pipeline’s right of way that is 30 meters wide. The spill has spread approximately 800 meters along the right of way, he said.
He said some oil has also spread into a marshy area where it was contained by beaver dams, but no moving water is located in the area.
Sheremata also said that hydrological maps of the area show there is virtually no moving groundwater near the spill.
Alberta Environment spokesperson Trevor Gemmell said, “there is no chance of the spill making its way to the Peace River.”
Gemmell said the oil is 300 meters away from any running water, and it has already been contained.